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Huh? Jobless Claims Drop For Fifth Week

From the unabashed propagandists at Reuters:

Jobless claims fall, bolster recovery hopes

December 9, 2010

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week and the four-week moving average slipped to a fresh two-year low, reviving hopes a labor market recovery was under way.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 421,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, below economists’ expectations for 425,000.

"It’s another report that suggests the monthly employment numbers that we got last week probably understated the position in jobs, and it’s another number that suggests we’re going to get some upside surprises in economic activity," said Michael Strauss, chief economist at Commonfund in Wilton, Connecticut

And its not like the people at Commonfund, which is an investment firm, would have any interest in talking up the economy. 

A Labor Department official said there was nothing unusual in the state level data, but noted that claims on a not seasonally adjusted level recorded their biggest increase this year, which was typical as claims tend to spike in the week after the Thanksgiving holiday.

That is to say, unemployment claims for last week were the highest all year. But once they "seasonally adjusted" they will go down. That’s pretty handy, isn’t it?

(And, for the record, last week’s unemployment claims were revised up. Just like they always have been under the Obama administration.)

The four-week average of new jobless claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market trends, fell 4,000 to 427,500, still the lowest since early August 2008.

Mind you, this "four week average" would include November – during which the number of unemployed went up. So how is this likely or even possible?

A surprisingly small gain in employment last month blurred the labor market picture and the bigger-than-expected drop in new claims, and sustained drop in the four-week average, should strengthen perceptions a durable recovery is under way

You see? The fact that unemployment actually went up last month just "blurred the labor market picture." A "durable recovery is underway." Get with the program.

Job creation is expected to receive a boost from a compromise deal struck by the Obama administration and Republican lawmakers on Monday to maintain all Bush-era tax cuts through 2012, extend emergency unemployment benefits and cut employee payroll taxes by 2 percentage points.

If a "durable recovery" was underway you can be damn sure that Mr. Obama would never have agreed to such a deal. And the White House would not be warning of a "double dip recession" if it does not pass.

For the record, the report from the Associated Press is just as shameless:

Jobless claims fall for second time in 3 weeks

By Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer
December 9, 2010

WASHINGTON – Applications for unemployment benefits dropped last week to the second-lowest level this year, fresh evidence that companies are cutting fewer jobs.

First-time claims for jobless aid fell by 17,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 421,000 in the week ending Dec. 4, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The four-week average of claims, a less-volatile measure, dropped for the fifth straight week to 427,500Claims have fallen steadily in the past two months

Again we have to ask, how can new unemployment claims have dropped for five straight weeks when unemployment went up in November? This does not compute.

The economy is likely to get a boost from the recent agreement between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans on taxes and unemployment benefits. The agreement would extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for two years and continue unemployment benefits through the end of 2011. It would also cut payroll taxes and enable businesses to take more tax write-offs for investing in new equipment.

If it becomes law, the deal could boost economic growth next year to 4 percent, from a previous estimate of 2.7 percent, according to Moody’s Analytics. That would lower the unemployment rate at a slightly faster pace next year, though many economist think it will still be above 9 percent by the end of 2011.

So now even the Associated Press is conceding that continuing the Bush tax rates will boost the economy.

It must be the Millennium.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, December 9th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Huh? Jobless Claims Drop For Fifth Week”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    There are three kinds of lies:


    Damn lies

    & Statistics

  2. untrainable says:

    I’m so happy that Democrats are finally openly admitting that tax cuts are good for the economy. It’s also very big of them to finally admit that the Bush tax cuts didn’t go only to the rich, but to everyone. Don’t worry though, they’ll measure the “optics” and come up with some totally new way to cover their fiscal ineptitude with more blatent lies.

    I’m confused about the talk of a double dip recession though. When did we come out of the first dip? Oh, that’s right. I forgot recovery summer. Silly me.

  3. proreason says:

    even the brain-dead are beginning to understand that these statistics are meaningless

    At some point, even Obamy supporters may get it

  4. River0 says:

    What’s really scandalous is that months later they’ll release “revised figures” that invariably show a different figure. This is particularly true of growth estimates on the economy, and it’s been going on for decades. It wouldn’t be so bad – because we’ve come to expect it – except that we taxpayers employ armies of pencil-pushers to sit in front of computers all day and study this crap. It costs us a bloody fortune.

    Private industry and Wall Street brokerage houses do the same thing at a lower cost, because they have to know this truth. The feds could collate their estimates for free.

    The tyranny, malice, and incompetence of Washington D.C. is at mythic levels now. As it was with the clogged and stinking Augean Stables, we need a Hercules to divert a river to flush out all the bull***t!

  5. arb says:

    It’s all just so… (wait for it)… unexpected.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      It’s all unexpected until they (our faithless bean counters) revise it up the following week. Where the LSM turns a blind eye to the unexpected upswing in numbers.
      It ceases to amaze me that the media still continues to serve up the shiite sandwiches smothered in love sweat dingleBarry would have us swallow.
      Gross on both counts!
      9.6% to 9.8%………….yup…………”Happy, Happy, Happy News”

  6. Right of the People says:

    Who are you going to believe, your government or some scandalous website like S&L? (sarc off)

    The local media here in the Peoples Republic of Vermont keeps referring to how much money the gov is going to lose because of the “tax cuts”. Someone they interviewed on the street tried to explain if they expired it would be a tax hike and the reporter basically call the guy a moron.

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